We’ve all heard it before. The ‘Doom and Gloom’ speech that starts with, ‘Missions are tough’! Like that shocks anyone anymore. No, we’ve all heard it a thousand times in mission prep classes. “Missionary work is work, and it’s tough, and you can’t come home, you’ll get bitten by a dog and have people slam doors in your face every day… oh, and you’ll lose your right leg on top of that…. b.u.t. (with a long pause) It’s worth it” they say.

So, if you’re looking for a Doom and Gloom list, then you’ve come to the wrong place. Here are 8, very common, positive parts of being a mormon missionary. So whilst you mission prep, think of the good times you’ve got coming.

 

1, You may actually like your companions 

RM’s can’t seem to talk enough about their ‘worst’ companions, but in fact you’ll probably make more lifelong friends than be stuck with challenging people. I’ve not met a missionary yet who doesn’t keep in contact with at least a few, years and years on. They are kind of comparable to your war buddies. You come back into civilian life, where most people don’t know what it was really like. But your mission companions do, they relate completely. Remember, you can learn something from everyone you meet.

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2, You could lose that extra bit of weight or, bulk-up  

What a perfect opportunity to walk, cycle, run and play sports. Even if you don’t normally. Just start slowly and build it up. You’ve got 18-24 months to get into some good habits and a companion to help you to do it. The more you notice a change, the more motivated you’ll be. Whether you want to bulk up or lose the weight, there’s time and support to make it happen. It’s easier when everyone’s doing it. To read more, check out: how to lose weight on a mission  #bestversionofyou

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3, You might discover some awesome hidden talents

Whether it’s singing, music, art, crafts, sport, teaching, listening, knowing what to say, cooking, organisational or people skills, you’ve got the exact environment to find those hidden talents and make them grow. Missions stretch you, but in that, we find ourselves. I know Elders and Sisters who learned how to play the piano, teach English as a second language, cook a local dish and ride a bike as a missionary. #discoveryourself

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4, You’ll never sleep so well 

Imagine a packed day of exercise, service opportunities, teaching people all over town, walking, biking, hiking and then a mental work-out when you get home as you plan the next day, when it all starts again. Honestly, it’s the most rewarding feeling, to have accomplished so much in one day. As most missionary heads hit the pillow, there’s an almost immediate knock out into deep sleep. I’ve never slept so well as a missionary and I don’t know if I ever will again. #accomplishment

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5, You’ll likely learn some really helpful study skills 

I’ve always struggled with effective study time. Information just doesn’t stick how I’d like it to. However, it’s different when you teach the gospel. You get quite a bit of extra help. Every companion I had studied in a different way, so I was able to take the best ideas from all of them. Imagine how many missionaries finish there missions and immediatley start education. They’re not fresh from high school now, they’ve studies for two hours every day. Certain skills, only a mission can teach you. #futuresorted

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6, You’ll never know yourself better 

It’s not the same at home. You can walk away, do something else or put things off until the end of time. But on a mission you have to deal with problems as they come. Companions will teach you more about yourself than anyone. Being with them 24/7, you’ll see how you react, how you cope with challenges in ‘real time’. It’s a humbling experience that, I promise you, makes you a better person. Be prepared, sometimes you’ll need to adjust a little. #betrue

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7, You’ll probably get on really well with your mission president

Mission president’s are not these super scary people. Not at all. We’ve all heard the urban legend mission presidents of a by-gone era. The one’s who sent a whole zone home for… well… something or other. Who knows if those stories are even true? (stay safe, read: how not to get sent home) My experience, working with lots of different mission president’s has been the opposite.  They are their missionary’s heroes. They are men and women designed to lead, guide, inspire and occasionally correct. Listen and observe and you’ll remember them forever, I promise you that! #newfriends

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8, You could meet your spouse 

I know, an odd point to make. But with missionaries now being so close in age, it’s becoming more and more common to meet ‘someone’ in the field. I’m not advocating that you search for them. And please, don’t act on your feelings in the field. (you could get sent home) Missionaries are set-apart from the world. Though the odds are slim you will meet that person as a missionary, your mission is at least preparing you to meet them one day. #closedheart #openmind

Check out Why so many couples meet on a mission?

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Liked this article? Then you’ll love: How she lost over 20lbs in one transfer

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7 Responses

  1. Drc53@ymail.com'
    David

    President Kimball gave a talk now known as, “Lock Your Hearts.” He made it about as clear as can be about getting married to someone you met during your mission. He said, “So, can I impress that again? LOCK YOUR HEARTS and leave the key at home! Wherever you live, leave the key home with your folks. And your heart – it’s only that part of it that deals with people generally that you open up. We just can’t tolerate it, can we? We can’t individually; we can’t totally. Someone said, ‘Well, is there any harm to marry a Mexican girl if you are working in Mexico!’ No, that isn’t any crime, but it proves that some missionary has had his heart open! He has unlocked it! Is it wrong to marry a German girl when you have been on a German mission? Why no, there is no crime in that, if you met her some other way. But when you meet her in the mission field and you have opened your heart, I tell you it isn’t right, and you have shortchanged your mission! Just keep your hearts locked.”

    Reply
    • jmm13261@hotmail.com'
      Michael

      I agree totally… and I have only one person i can remember that I know that met this girl while on his mission in Spain, and she moved in with his family within a week of his getting off his mission ! everyone in the ward was blown away at this missionary and left a sour taste in everyones mouth to be sure.

      Reply
    • beijerling@gmail.com'
      Dan

      The first time I can clearly remember feeling the Spirit, was when I received an overwhelming spiritual witness at the age of 12, that President Kimball wasn’t just a man but a prophet of God. I developed a deep respect and admiration for him, as I did for those who succeeded him. However, I am also very aware that our prophets are still fallible mortals, despite their ecclesiastical callings, and that not every opinion they share is necessarily inspired.

      I stated the previous to emphasize that I mean no disrespect to person or office when I say that, to suggest – as a blanket condemnation – that anyone who marries someone they met on their mission has “shortchanged [their] mission” seems rather narrow-minded. Certainly, missionaries should not be entertaining romantic thoughts and feelings for anyone they meet during their mission, much less looking for, pursuing, or acting on them. However, having an “eye single to the glory of God” doesn’t make you immune to physical, emotional, or spiritual attraction.

      I did not pursue or marry anyone I met on my mission, but it is precisely because missionaries associate with each other and church members under a non-romantic premise, that they are more focused on each other’s personalities and character traits, particularly the spiritual ones. Under these circumstances it is completely conceivable that a righteous missionary may encounter someone whom they feel a connection to, and whom they might like to get to know better after their mission. If that missionary simply makes a note of that person’s contact details, and doesn’t dwell on or pursue that person until after their mission, then I can see no reason whatsoever to imply any measure of guilt.

      Reply
  2. cjensen780@msn.com'
    CJ

    David,
    That is one of the best pieces if advice for missionaries that I have read! President Kimball was the prophet of my youth and I remember SO many good things he said. I have heard this phrased in many ways over the years, but “to keep your heart locked” is something everyone can clearly comprehend. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  3. jonathan@tumbleweird.com'
    Jonathan

    Interesting article made almost unreadable by the inane video clips. This is a too common amateurish failing of many a good message. I was tempted to copy and paste the story so I could read it and take in the messages without distraction.

    Reply
    • Thomas Swain

      There we go, to save you the time. 🙂

      We’ve all heard it before. The ‘Doom and Gloom’ speech that starts with, ‘Missions are tough’! Like that shocks anyone anymore. No, we’ve all heard it a thousand times in mission prep classes. “Missionary work is work, and it’s tough, and you can’t come home, you’ll get bitten by a dog and have people slam doors in your face every day… oh, and you’ll lose your right leg on top of that…. b.u.t. (with a long pause) It’s worth it” they say.

      So, if you’re looking for a Doom and Gloom list, then you’ve come to the wrong place. Here are 8, very common, positive parts of being a mormon missionary. So whilst you mission prep, think of the good times you’ve got coming.

      1, You may actually like your companions

      RM’s can’t seem to talk enough about their ‘worst’ companions, but in fact you’ll probably make more lifelong friends than be stuck with challenging people. I’ve not met a missionary yet who doesn’t keep in contact with at least a few, years and years on. They are kind of comparable to your war buddies. You come back into civilian life, where most people don’t know what it was really like. But your mission companions do, they relate completely. Remember, you can learn something from everyone you meet.

      2, You could lose that extra bit of weight or, bulk-up

      What a perfect opportunity to walk, cycle, run and play sports. Even if you don’t normally. Just start slowly and build it up. You’ve got 18-24 months to get into some good habits and a companion to help you to do it. The more you notice a change, the more motivated you’ll be. Whether you want to bulk up or lose the weight, there’s time and support to make it happen. It’s easier when everyone’s doing it. To read more, check out: how to lose weight on a mission #bestversionofyou

      3, You might discover some awesome hidden talents

      Whether it’s singing, music, art, crafts, sport, teaching, listening, knowing what to say, cooking, organisational or people skills, you’ve got the exact environment to find those hidden talents and make them grow. Missions stretch you, but in that, we find ourselves. I know Elders and Sisters who learned how to play the piano, teach English as a second language, cook a local dish and ride a bike as a missionary. #discoveryourself

      4, You’ll never sleep so well

      Imagine a packed day of exercise, service opportunities, teaching people all over town, walking, biking, hiking and then a mental work-out when you get home as you plan the next day, when it all starts again. Honestly, it’s the most rewarding feeling, to have accomplished so much in one day. As most missionary heads hit the pillow, there’s an almost immediate knock out into deep sleep. I’ve never slept so well as a missionary and I don’t know if I ever will again. #accomplishment

      5, You’ll likely learn some really helpful study skills

      I’ve always struggled with effective study time. Information just doesn’t stick how I’d like it to. However, it’s different when you teach the gospel. You get quite a bit of extra help. Every companion I had studied in a different way, so I was able to take the best ideas from all of them. Imagine how many missionaries finish there missions and immediatley start education. They’re not fresh from high school now, they’ve studies for two hours every day. Certain skills, only a mission can teach you. #futuresorted

      6, You’ll never know yourself better

      It’s not the same at home. You can walk away, do something else or put things off until the end of time. But on a mission you have to deal with problems as they come. Companions will teach you more about yourself than anyone. Being with them 24/7, you’ll see how you react, how you cope with challenges in ‘real time’. It’s a humbling experience that, I promise you, makes you a better person. Be prepared, sometimes you’ll need to adjust a little. #betrue

      7, You’ll probably get on really well with your mission president

      Mission president’s are not these super scary people. Not at all. We’ve all heard the urban legend mission presidents of a by-gone era. The one’s who sent a whole zone home for… well… something or other. Who knows if those stories are even true? (stay safe, read: how not to get sent home) My experience, working with lots of different mission president’s has been the opposite. They are their missionary’s heroes. They are men and women designed to lead, guide, inspire and occasionally correct. Listen and observe and you’ll remember them forever, I promise you that! #newfriends

      8, You could meet your spouse

      I know, an odd point to make. But with missionaries now being so close in age, it’s becoming more and more common to meet ‘someone’ in the field. I’m not advocating that you search for them. And please, don’t act on your feelings in the field. (you could get sent home) Missionaries are set-apart from the world. Though the odds are slim you will meet that person as a missionary, your mission is at least preparing you to meet them one day. #closedheart #openmind

      Check out Why so many couples meet on a mission?

      Reply

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